Kenya went to the polling stations on 8th of August for presidential and county election. As in previous elections, very little policy was discussed. None of the presidential candidates have seriously addressed the major problems the country faces including the growing youth unemployment, the great inequality and effects of climate change and corruption. However, in the final weeks of the national election campaigning, authorities in Kisumu county nevertheless managed to present a first official draft of a local climate change policy.

Together with other CSOs, Nobert Nyandire from the DaCCA program participated in the process of drafting the policy. Although the final text is yet to be decided upon, this first draft is a direct result of a successful collaboration between local CSO actors and the authorities.

The draft policy analyses the challenges that climate change has for agriculture, water resources, fisheries, health, biodiversity, etc. It outlines the policy measures needed to adapt to climate change. Furthermore, the draft points out various mitigation measures necessary to implement in order to minimize greenhouse gas emissions while providing greater access to energy services for all. Finally, the document points out that the policy cannot be implemented without changes in the duty bearer’s organizations and institutions whilst also working towards strengthening these through a closer cooperation with the civil society and private sector actors.

CSO participation in the preparation of the draft climate change policy has been quite visible and a platform for cooperation has now been established. The next phase will be to transform the policy into action plans with budgets allocated. The making of the action plans will include public hearings and selected stakeholder meetings. Continued pressure from the civil society in this phase is needed if the climate change policy should be more than just another empty policy framework.

On 1st of September Kenya’s high court ordered a new presidential vote citing irregularities. The new vote is not expected to have any effects on the implementation of the county climate change policy.